SpaceX terminates Starship development site plans for Port of LA for the second time in two years

SpaceX terminated plans to lease a site to develop Starship launch systems at the Port of Los Angeles in March, the LA Times reports. The withdrawal notice from SpaceX marks the second time in two years a development site was approved by city officials before being cancelled.

In a letter dated March 27, a SpaceX official gave the Port of L.A. notice of the Elon Musk-led company’s intent to terminate the permit agreement. The date of termination was May 11, according to the letter, which was provided to The Times. […]

The letter came about a month after SpaceX got approval from the L.A. City Council and the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissioners to use a site on Terminal Island to build aerospace parts. The initial permit cleared the company to use 12.4 acres to make aerospace parts, with an option to expand its presence to 19 acres.

Los Angeles approved the second iteration of the lease in January with with the first year worth $1.7 million, according to CNBC. The 20-year lease was expected to be worth $52.8 million for LA.

The Starship development site would have created a California location within driving distance to SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Instead, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has encouraged employees located in California to relocate to South Texas where the next generation launch system is being developed.

Musk now considers Starship development to be the highest priority for SpaceX after successfully sending NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

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